Theme Park, Amusement Park and Attractions Industry News

Taking Virtual Reality to new depths…Underwater

Sub Sea Systems and San Francisco tech firm, Ballast Technology, have introduced Deep Dive VR, an underwater virtual dive experience designed for installation at water parks and destinations where guests are ready to get wet.

Deep Dive VR combines realistic virtual reality content, a waterproof VR headset with audio, and multiple in-water sensory effects for an enhanced tactile experience. Up to ten participants at a time step down into an acrylic aquarium (3 feet or 1 meter deep) and position themselves at individual stations. Once fitted with a VR headset, snorkel and floatation belt, each participant grasps handles located on a thruster unit directly in front of them. The participant’s body naturally floats into a comfortable, prone position in the water.

Almost immediately, the participants are transported into a 3D virtual reality world, combining sight, sound, and tactile senses. The in-water thrusters constantly respond to visual queues to reinforce the realism of the experience. Vibrations, streams, pulses of water at varying speeds, and air bubbles propelled by the thruster and rising from the floor pass over the participant’s body. These sensations are timed in perfect unison with the visual and audio content. A gentle flow simulates gliding alongside a graceful sea turtle, and soft bubbles are released when passing over thermal vents. A fast rush of water accompanies a school of playful dolphins, providing a sense of movement. The virtual diver even experiences the sensation of corkscrew turns, while zipping past coral reefs and sunken shipwrecks.

A library of high-quality VR content is being created to provide new and exciting experiences– from coral reef dives to shark encounters, an arctic plunge with penguins and polar bears, and even an out-of-this-world space adventure. Deep Dive VR is a fully self-contained system that is delivered in two segments and installed within a matter of days.

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